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“Fagin-like” Penrith robbery teen facing long jail term

The ATM at Barclays Bank in Penrith at which the woman was robbed

A “FAGIN-like” teenage criminal is facing a lengthy jail term for his involvement in two knifepoint robberies in a Cumbrian town.

In October, Paul Stuchfield covered his face before producing a blade and robbing a shop worker of cash just before midnight at an Esso garage in Penrith. Stuchfield, 19, later admitted being responsible for that robbery, which he carried out with a 15-year-old boy.

Three months later, on January 16, Stuchfield then played a key role as a woman was robbed at knifepoint and stabbed while trying to withdraw money from an ATM outside Barclays Bank at Penrith’s Market Square.

Stuchfield lurked nearby in the darkness as a 16-year-old male carried out the terrifying offence. Less than two hours earlier, Stuchfield was heard in a town McDonald’s boasting that he and other youths “were going to cover their faces and rob a woman with a knife”.

A knife with a blade bent almost 90 degrees was receivers from the crime scene.

Stuchfield – and a 14-year-old boy who was in his company at the McDonald’s restaurant – denied a charge of conspiracy to rob. But today (THURS), both were found unanimously guilty following a Carlisle Crown Court trial.

In a impact statement, the cashpoint robbery victim – who suffered lower body knife puncture wounds – told how the “awful, life-altering incident” had both mentally and physically “scarred me massively”.

Judge James Adkin adjourned the case, and will sentence both Stuchfield, of Kirkoswald, near Penrith, and the 14-year-old at future separate hearings after considering specialist background reports.

“You should expect a long custodial sentence,” Judge James Adkin told Stuchfield who, he said, had acted “as a Fagin-like character, employing younger children to do his dirty work.”

The 16-year-old cashpoint robber was sentenced to 28 months’ detention at a crown court hearing in May.

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